Glen Canyon with Stairs and Coyote

This is one of our “park visitor” series – first person accounts of our parks, published with permission.

Escher's_Relativity

Source: Wikipedia (fair use)

It was dusk when I climbed down into Glen Canyon from the Christopher Playground. It’s been some months since I visited it last, and I was saddened by the changes stemming from SF Recreation and Parks “trails” project.

All the hillside trails have been made into staircases.  It reminded me of a drawing by Escher: they’re nearly as as difficult to walk. The risers of the box steps are high and the pitch not suited to everyone. Tiring and hard on the knees, and so it will effectively restrict access to many people.

COYOTE…

But then a coyote came out of the bushes. I was delighted, though not surprised.  Coyotes inhabit most of the city now, and the park has coyote-spotting signs up at the Christopher playground. But what followed was a surprise (to me, anyway!)

The park is surrounded by urban areas, and an emergency vehicle was racing by on the street above, siren wailing. “Watch,” said my companion. “He’s going to howl with the siren.” And sure enough – the little coyote raised his muzzle to the sky, gave a few barks, and then howled along with the siren.

I managed to get a blurry photograph. coyote howlingA few dogs from nearby homes responded with a woof or two, but they weren’t serious. The siren-coyote duet continued until the vehicle raced away and the sound faded. The coyote sat down, convinced, I thought, that it had told off the intruder into its territory and announced who really occupied this space.

The dusk deepened, and this magical moment was broken by  flights of mosquitoes. I’ve been to Glen Canyon many times over many years, and these are a new thing for me. Wonder if it’s anything to do with the Islais Creek – and the felling of the bat trees.

Fighting The NAP Nativist Agenda

Once in a while, we want to affirm the values that San Francisco Forest Alliance stands for. We’re a grass-roots organization of people who love nature and the environment, pay taxes responsibly, and want access to our parks and wild places – with our families.

Citizens care about their city Parks, and want to keep healthy trees and to open access to natural areas. Citizens expect city management to act responsibly and in the public trust, for FAIR allocation of 2008 Clean & Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond funds.

SF Recreation and Parks Department (SFRPD) and particularly the Natural Areas Program (NAP), obsessed with Native Plants, is cutting down trees, restricting access, using more toxic herbicides than any other section of SFRPD (excluding Harding Park Golf Course), and using financial resources that could better be used for things our city’s residents really want.

OUR VIDEO

Watch our video on Youtube, (where you can also sign up for the SF Forest Alliance Youtube channel):

OUR MESSAGE TO SAN FRANCISCO AND SFRPD

What we stand for can be summarized in four key areas: Trees, Access, Toxins, Taxes.

 

Help us save the urban forests in our San Francisco Parks

Glen Canyon Park: One Year after Start of Tree Destruction

The Glen Canyon Playground and Tennis Court Project – as the city is calling this – is nearly completed. In February or March 2014 there will be great fanfare at the completion of this project.

Video update to the Glen Canyon Park tree demolition project

Is it an improvement? Well, there is a new playground at least, but it will not be the same as it was: a steep staircase to the slide and bushes that were at the top – gone. The kids loved those; they played games of imagination and adventure there. Instead of a quirky playground that used the advantages of the site, there’s a standard-issue place that could have been built anywhere.  And the wonderful climbing tree the children loved, behind the Rec Center – also gone. The new kids will not know what they missed.

The City Arborist report stated that only 1 tree was truly hazardous, yet 42 trees were destroyed. Equally troubling is the deliberate relocation of tennis courts that destroyed 11 healthy and majestic Eucalyptus guarding the Park’s entrance.

Question: Why was there no attempt to incorporate these trees into the overall design goal that could have been achieved without sacrificing space for the playground and ball field?

Answer: San Francisco taxpayers “purchased” a native plant garden as part of the project and ensured all those “poor suitability / non-native” trees were eliminated.

Functional, Beautiful Ecosystems Should Be Left Alone; the Parks need maintenance, not destruction.

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While you are on YouTube, why not Subscribe to our Channel and keep up with our latest videos by the San Francisco Forest Alliance?

YouTubeChannel-HomePage

YouTubeChannel-HomePage

Merely follow step one or two to Subscribe to our Channel:

Step 1) Do you have a YouTube account? OK then, its easy to subscribe …just click this link http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center? add_user=SFForestAlliance

Any users who are logged into YouTube already need only to click that link and then confirm the subscription and they’ll be added to our Channel.

Step 2) Not on YouTube account yet? All you need to do is watch one of our YouTube videos, click on the”Subscribe” button / link, which is directly across from the Name of our Channel: San Francisco Forest Alliance. Or, the “subscribe” button may appear below the video title.

The last step is to sign in to your Google account or register with a Gmail, YouTube or Google+ account.

Audio Talk (YouTube) Against the Needless Destruction of Urban Forests

You are invited to hear comments by Ariane Eroy, a supporter of Sutro Forest, trees, and the environment, on KPFA radio (broadcast date: 1/2/2014).

Ariane speaks in support of the effort to save the Sutro Forest and challenges East Bay residents to get UC Berkeley to scale back its destructive project tree-removal in East Bay hills, part of a huge program that threatens half a million trees.  This 2 minute, 30 second audio broadcast includes pictures of the Mt Sutro forest.

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While you are on YouTube, why not keep up with our latest videos by the San Francisco Forest Alliance.

YouTubeChannel-HomePage

 Just follow step one or two to Subscribe to our Channel:

Step 1)  Do you have a YouTube account? OK then, its easy to subscribe …just click this link  http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=SFForestAlliance

Any users who are logged into YouTube already need only to click that link and then confirm the subscription and they’ll be added to our Channel.

Step 2)  Not on YouTube account yet? All you need to do is watch one of our YouTube videos, click on the”Subscribe” button / link, which is directly across from the Name of our Channel: San Francisco Forest Alliance.   Or, the “subscribe” button may appear below the video title.

The last step is to sign in to your Google account or register with a Gmail, YouTube or Google+ account.

NAP Plan Paperwork Costs Over $2 Million – Not Including Implementation

Spraying pesticides in Glen Canyon March 2013San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Commission just voted to allocate  $237 thousand from the Open Space Contingency Reserve to hire a new consultant. Its job will be just  to respond to the approximately 450 comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on the Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan (SNRAMP, Sin-Ramp) of the Natural Areas Program (NAP).

This will be the third consultant hired, and will bring the money spend on the Sin-Ramp – just formulating and publishing the Plan –  and the Environmental Impact Report on it to over $2 million. That is, $2 million for just the paperwork. Should the third consultant have whatever problems made the first two unsatisfactory, then of course it would mean even more money.  (The Commission seemed inclined to give them whatever they needed.)

NAP Plan Cost

(Based on information obtained from San Francisco city government)

That doesn’t include, of course, the cost of actually implementing the Sin-Ramp. Those would increase from about $1.8 million annually now to about $5.4 million annually if Sin-Ramp were implemented. Over the 20-year life of the Plan, that would mean $108 mn. And if the “Maximum Restoration” alternative were chosen, the costs would balloon to $10.8 mn per year, and over $200 million over 20 years.

Is this SF Recreation and Parks Department’s highest priority?

SNRAMP Implementation costs

Costs of implementing San Francisco’s Natural Areas Program

Glen Canyon Park: Six Months after Tree Destruction

Note: This article is re-published from SFGlenCanyon.Net

It’s been over six months since the trees were felled between Elk Rd and the Glen Canyon Rec Center.  Here’s what it looks like now.

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The destruction part took no time at all: An avenue of majestic century-old trees, a hillside habitat for birds and animals – including insect-eating bats –  a wild bee-colony,  Those were all gone in days.

The construction part is harder.

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